#10, Tears In Bloom
Sometimes… we find ourselves in those places in our lives… that are just… hard.
For me, it is so easy to laugh. For me its so easy to smile. To joke. To spin great weaves from any number of bolts of yarn. There’s a lot that is easy for me. Even some of the toughest things.
And then… ever so often… things come together that are just… hard.
There is not any greater pain – I’m finding out – than seeing the one human being you love more than any other human being on this Earth… hurt. Through his hurt, and his confusion… his frustration and his anger, I stand in awe at how resilient he is. How smart… how funny.
Yet, there is not any greater pain.
Then… how heartbreaking it is to say ‘ good-bye ‘ to a being you love so much. Who has brought you great joy, even while bringing you great insecurity… how his existence in your life is forever bound into a story you wanted so much to follow the path of a rainbow. Yet, you move forward now, together separately, to cross the road before you, knowing there is a better path for him. And for you.
And you say ‘ good-bye ‘ .
How sick to your stomach you get when you know there is another ‘ good-bye ‘ … just around the corner. For another soul – a warrior guide these past fifteen years with you, through some terrific highs and some bone crushing lows – who is watching his sunset right now. Through blinding eyes. Slowly… beautifully… on his horizon. Him, knowing we will all do great when he leaves. How full his heart is as he prepares to depart. We don’t have much longer. His bold beautiful sun, will give way to a moment – it will be just a moment – of shitty darkness for all of us. That whisper in the wind… that pouf – you feel as his soul leaves his body and joins all the other stars in the Universe.
Crossing the bridge.
And then… as these paths all collide, there is a life-long friend who has lost his son in a tragic accident. Life long family friends who have lost their patriarch to a debilitating memory disease – his body still here, but all of the rest of him now… gone. My Asian neighbor walks her dog every day, in broad daylight, contemplating if she’ll be the victim of a hate crime. The young black man at my coffee shop shines so brightly doing his barista thing, while he wonders if he’ll be treated properly as a human being when he leaves after work. A large of group of children, in our privileged neighborhood, are struggling, with their parents, to eat properly after losing jobs and school… and the money to buy food. How much black lives matter. How grateful I am that because black lives matter, my gay life matters. How much I’ve denied the reality… of having brain cancer. That I, in fact, dodged not just a bullet, but a full blown launched rocket. How many young people – teenagers – have taken their lives this past year during a so-called pandemic that adults have forced on them, pushing them into isolation, leading them to an unspeakable trajedy. How deeply troubling it is to manage the reality that people you considered friends have gone to great lengths to defame and destroy you. How scary it is to stand up and provide voice when the dots don’t connect and authority must be challenged. How surreal it is to be so fond of a man who once hid in the shadows of a parking lot, some thirty years ago, intent on doing you harm, possibly even killing you, to initiate his credibility into a white supremacist gang. And today you both spend hours together, contemplating and solving your world’s problems. How blood is in fact not thicker than water. Its just blood. And with that in mind you must walk a higher road and hold evil accountable.
No matter how much it hurts.
How in the mix of these tough feelings – all timed together to happen at once – other tough feelings – you thought were resolved, or maybe just ‘ under control ‘ … revisit. Reminding you. Why you feel as deeply as you do about things. Why your feelings are often so intense. How that gay kid, from a conservative suburb, in a Roman Catholic Irish household… had the shit – physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually – beaten out of him… from birth, through his first 18 years, while a community around him watched and did nothing, before he could run free… run away. Through the addictions, thoughts of suicide, behaviors that served second best to the fact that he – I – couldn’t pull the trigger… created an adult man today who feels… deeply.
Yesterday, triggered by a frustrating delay in getting my head shaved… the tears just started flowing. I was taken aback. Really. Shocked. Where the fuck is this coming from? I started spinning out. And I did spin.
The tears haven’t stopped.
I’ve decided to just let them flow. Something in this big heart, and these deep feelings, is needing to work its way out. Maybe like the buds on all the trees and bushes right now flooding my home. Its Spring. They need to bloom. Nothing can stop them from this bursting moment. Its nature. Its natural. As they bloom, and work their way out, interrupted by spikes and dips in temperature, changes in sunlight, and the lengthening of the day… they bloom. You can’t stop it. They can’t deny it. If you just cut that bloom off… break that branch – why the fuck would you do that? Attempt to interrupt another bloom. They’ll find a way to work out. Its ‘right’.
So… I’m letting the tears fall. Like the roses, and iris, and viburnum, and hydrangea, daffodils, and lavender… I’m sitting back to admire how beautiful they are.
The bloom wouldn’t exist without the stem. The stem without the foliage. The foliage without the roots. The roots without the soil. The soil without the millennia of evolution… that all come together to affirm to the bloom, flooding the grounds of my home right now – ‘ you’ve got this ‘. Just do your thing. Just be beautiful. Just remind us all who have the great fortune to admire your beauty… how beautiful it all is.
Just let the tears stream.
Its hard. Nothing so great should ever be easy.
And… Its beautiful.